Fugro Unit To Reduce Vessel Downtime At Offshore Wind Projects

Dutch company Fugro says it is using a new track base unit fitted to its FCV remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for cable lay touchdown monitoring operations at the 400 MW Rampion Offshore Wind Farm.

According to Fugro, the unit was introduced to ensure highly accurate cable positioning during cable lay operations in strong currents, enabling the ROV to run along the seabed instead of flying through the water. Fugro notes it is fitted to the existing ROV frame but can be detached easily if required.

Mike Daniel, business manager for construction at Fugro Subsea Services, said, “This innovative track base unit development will help to reduce vessel downtime while also providing accurate positioning.”

The company says the unit was developed following another project for E.ON in 2015 at the Humber Gateway Offshore Wind Farm, where Fugro introduced a compact custom-made cable lay spread that included new 3D sonar technology to supplement ROV support and provide precise monitoring of cable touchdown. During this project in the North Sea, Fugro experienced currents as high as 3.5 knots.

In August, Fugro commenced cable laying operations at the Rampion site, off the U.K.’s Sussex coast, from its subsea construction vessel, the Fugro Symphony. At the beginning of the month, the vessel had loaded the first phase of 57 cables (approximately 75 kilometers) at the cable manufacturer’s facility in Hartlepool.

Having joined the project in early September, another of Fugro’s specialist vessels, Fugro Saltire, is currently conducting cable burial using one of Fugro’s Q1400 trenching systems. The project installation is divided into two phases, with the first phase due for completion in October of this year. After a winter break, the two vessels will resume installation of the remaining 65 cables in spring 2017, and completion is expected by summer 2017.

The Rampion project, due to be completed in 2018, is being built 13 kilometers off the Sussex coast by E.ON, the U.K. Green Investment Bank plc and Canadian energy company Enbridge.


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